After almost two weeks of warm sunny weather we woke up to cold and wet weather. We decided therefore to head Blaenavon a UNESCO World Heritage Site which protects highlights the history of the coal mining and iron industries of the south Welsh valleys. The main focus of the area is the Big Pit is an old coal mine now turned into a museum.
Driving to Blaenavon we drove through the bleak moorland of the south Wales valleys stopping above the town at the Keepers Pool a manmade pool which used as a reservoir for the iron industry.
We made our way through the old village passing the remains of the 18th century ironworks to the Big Pit. We started our exploration of the site by taking the underground tour. Kitted out with light, helmet and heavy battery pack were taken down 300ft into the mine into a labyrinth of shafts and coal faces. Our guide, an ex-miner, gave us a personal and sometimes poignant insight into the life of the miner through the hundred years the colliery operated between 1880 and 1980.It was an excellent tour. We then explored the rest of the site including the former miners baths and the mine’s canteen before heading back to base.